The Soviet Economy: The Late 1930s in Historical Perspective

38 Pages Posted: 8 May 2018

See all articles by R. W. Davies

R. W. Davies

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Mark Harrison

University of Warwick; University of Birmingham

Oleg Khlevniuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Stephen G Wheatcroft

Deakin University; University of Melbourne

Date Written: March 1, 2018

Abstract

This paper is a draft of the concluding chapter of The industrialisation of Soviet Russia, vol. 7: The Soviet economy and the approach of war, 1937–1939, in preparation for publication by Palgrave Macmillan. We consider the development of the Soviet economy over the period of the series, that is, from the launching of the first five-year plan and the collectivisation of agriculture to the outbreak of the Second World War. We review, in turn, the pattern of forced industrialisation, the measurement and mismeasurement of economic progress, the extraordinary militarisation of a mobilised society and economy, the emergence of the Soviet Union as a global military power, and the scope for reforms within the economic system that Stalin created and ruled over. Concluding, we ask what kind of economic development this was.

Keywords: communism, economic development, economic growth, incentives, industrialisation, military power, mismeasurement, mobilisation, policy reform, power, Soviet Union, violence, war economy

JEL Classification: H56, N44, P21

Suggested Citation

Davies, R. W. and Harrison, Mark and Khlevniuk, Oleg and Wheatcroft, Stephen G, The Soviet Economy: The Late 1930s in Historical Perspective (March 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3166964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3166964

R. W. Davies

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

United States

Mark Harrison (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Department of Economics
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://warwick.ac.uk/markharrison

University of Birmingham ( email )

Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Oleg Khlevniuk

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

136, Rodionova street
25/12, Bolshaya pecherskaya street
Nizhniy Novgorod, 603155
Russia

Stephen G Wheatcroft

Deakin University ( email )

75 Pigdons Road
Victoria, Victoria 3216
Australia

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

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